Vote counting in Hobby Lobby

The complexity of the balancing test in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the numerous factors at play in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby litigation, has yielded some complexity in addressing what the Court actually found. (PDF here.) It's widely reported as a 5-4 opinion, but it's somewhat more complicated than that. Here's a quick guide to counting the votes.

By a vote of 5-2 (with 2 justices abstaining), the Court found that RFRA applies to closely-held for-profit corporations.

The majority opinion by Justice Alito concludes that RFRA so extends; Justice Ginsburg (joined by Justice Sotomayor) in dissent rejects that view. Justices Breyer and Kagan abstained from this portion of the decision.

By a vote of 9-0 (sort of), the Court found that the religious beliefs of the companies were sincerely held.

Part of this doesn't matter as much, because it seems irrelevant to the dissent in its ultimately analysis where the parties fail all other tests. But the dissenting opinion acknowledges, "I agree with the Court that the Green and Hahn families' religious convictions regarding contraception are sincerely held." (Dissenting slip op. at 21.) It is not clear that the dissent would directly extend those religious beliefs to the corporation, except arguendo, due to two dissenting justices' conclusions that RFRA does not apply to those families' closely-held for-profit corporations. But its language later in that opinion applies to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wagon, too. Consider: "I would conclude that the connection between the families' religious objections and the contraceptive coverage requirement is too attenuated to rank as substantial. The requirement carries no command that Hobby Lobby or Conestoga purchase or provide the contraceptives they find objectionable." (Dissenting slip op. at 22-23.)

By a vote of 5-4, the Court found that the "contraceptive mandate" substantially burdened the companies.

This one is pretty easy to parse out of the opinion.

By a vote of 5-0 (with 4 justices assuming arguendo), the Court found that the government had a compelling interest in establishing the "contraceptive mandate."

The majority opinion of Justice Alito assumes without deciding that there is a compelling government interest in providing contraceptive access to women. (Part V-A.) Justice Kennedy's concurring opinion accepts the government's interest, and Justice Ginsburg's dissenting opinion (joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) notes it in a footnote. (Dissenting slip op. at 24-25.) And the four dissenting justices found such an interest.

By a vote of 5-4, the Court found that the "contraceptive mandate" was not narrowly tailored.

This one, too, is pretty easy to parse out of the opinion.